You don’t know her

By: Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar



One half of a boiled egg

Her fuel against winter

Tattered handed down books

Taught her the word

Barely an Inch long pencil stubs

Made tall by inserted in old pen shells

Wrote the exams she aced

Old dresses she wore

Stretched to cover her knees

By adding a discolored frill

Paste of crushed chalk lent whiteness

To her time-worn sneakers for Sports Day

Harsh soap meant for laundry

Gave bounce and luster to her hair

No money to pay for outings

She fell sick for school picnics

Whistles made of dried mango stones

Were the only toys she possessed

Rudimentary homemade raincoats

Soaked her to the skin in monsoon

Never a new outfit for birthdays

Or candy to distribute to friends

Grandpa pierced her ears with a needle

And she wore thread in them

Don’t try to surmise her size

For you simply don’t know her





Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar is an Indian American. She was born in a middle-class family in India and will forever be indebted to her parents for educating her beyond their means. Her work has been published in Ms Magazine, The Same, The Aerogram, Mutha Magazine, The Haiku Journal, Columbus Moms Blog among others. She blogs at Puny Fingers and can be reached at twitter

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